OKLAHOMA CITY -- Defying expectations and history itself, Kendra Horn has defeated U.S. Representative Steve Russell in the race for Oklahoma's 5th congressional district.
According to unofficial results from the Oklahoma Board of Elections, Horn finished the race with 121,013 votes or 51 percent of the total. Russell finished with 117,725 votes, or 49 percent of the total.
"Not only did we flip the 5th, we changed the conversation. We changed the way that campaigns are run in this state because we got out, we talked to our friends. We talked to our neighbors. We talked to people about issues that are important in our day to day lives," Horn said Tuesday.
Issues pushed by Horn's campaign have included affordable healthcare and education.
"We talked about the need to change things are done in Washington and guess what? That is exactly what we are going to do," she said.
Horn's victory broke a 44 year Republican hold on Oklahoma's 5th congressional district. Russell was elected in a six-way primary to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2014. He began his 21-year career in the U.S. Army as a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and completed the U.S. Army Ranger School.
During her victory speech Tuesday night, Horn took a moment to thank her youngest supporters or 'fellows' who assisted with the campaign.
"These are the engine, the fuel that helped up get where we are," Horn told a cheering crowd. "They are the future and their voices were heard tonight."
One of those young fellows is Jonathan Curtis who told News 4, he has spent six months working on Horn's campaign.
"I have never been so happy to be in the presence of someone who has made history," Curtis said. "I generally believe she is a passionate candidate who is a genuine human being who will represent both democrats and republicans and independents and all in between. I love her so much and I can’t wait to see her on the floor of the House."
Rep. Russell's office released this statement Tuesday night:
"Colonel Russell thanks his supporters for their prayers, their tireless work and their commitment to the state of Oklahoma. Their willingness to take part in the process is a credit to their character and the country. Colonel Russell is heading back to Washington tomorrow and will continue serving for the remainder of his term. We are a great nation that is still worth fighting for."